Saturday, 31 May 2014

May Wrap-Up and June TBR Pile!


Unfortunately, I didn't get to read as many books this month as, ya know, schoolwork. But I did manage to read seven, which is an okay amount, but I would've liked to read a few more!

Books I Read in May:
FangirlDestined (Wings, #4)Sammy Keyes and the Search for Snake Eyes (Sammy Keyes, #7)Anne of Green GablesAnne of AvonleaRooftoppersAwaken (Abandon Trilogy, #3)

I didn't read a book that completely blew me away this month, except for my Anne of Green Gables re-read and Anne of Avonlea. To be honest, I didn't love Fangirl and found it quite average. Sammy Keyes was a fun, quick detective story that I really enjoyed. Destined was so disappointing! Awaken was quite good but I didn't love it. Rooftoppers was really quirky and fun, yet the middle-half of the book nothing much really happened, although I did really like it! Hopefully next month will be better! 

Books I Hope To Read in June:
The Stepsister's TalePivot Point (Pivot Point, #1)Fly by Night (Fly By Night, #1)Ransom (Bodyguard, #2)

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Stacking the Shelves #62

Stacking the Shelves

Firstly, I am so sorry for the lack of posts! My Cambridge schooling thing has arrived and I've been hectic busy! I'll settle into the routine soon, though, and then there will be more posts up! :) I haven't bought any books this month *sobs* but I have gotten a couple of books to review which I am really excited to read!
Review Copies:

 I read Rooftoppers and my review will be up next week! It was really quirky and original and I loved it! I'm really excited for The Fearless, which I should be reading after I finish my next two library books. I have Mystic City and I was ecstatic when I was sent Toxic Heart, I can't wait to read them! The copy I received of Great Expectations is stunning and I'm hoping to read it next month!

If you did a STS post, leave a link and I'll stop by! :)

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Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Discussion Post: Unread books

I feel like I have too many unread books at the moment. 

Over the years I have bought copious amounts of books at a time, thanks to car-boot sales and charity stores and since this has been going on for about five years, it's reached quite a high amount. I have over 600 books and I have only read about one third of them, leaving me with about 400+ books I haven't read. THEN there are all my e-galleys which is at, I'm ashamed to admit, about 100 e-galleys which I haven't yet got around to reading. I feel incredibly bad about this and I could repeatedly give me a swift kick in the backside for going on a requesting binge when I first opened my NG and EW account! I then also have a lot of other Kindle books I have bought; newish YA releases, free books and the classics.

I have so many books to read and I just don't have the time! I'm starting IGCSEs and it's a lot of work and I'll be even busier when it comes to exam time! I'm on a strict book-buying ban, I'm not requesting on Netgalley anymore and I am not going to check out books at the library anymore, but that still leaves me with lots of unread books.

I might donate my more middle-grade books that I never got around to reading, but there are some I really want to read and I feel bad for giving them away without becoming acquainted with what could be my next favourite book! 

I understand, even though it saddens me, that I'll never be able to read all the books I want and my logical side says there are quite a few books that I won't ever read and I should donate them. I have accumulated about 100 that I'm donating, which I am proud of. I've read most of those but I'll most likely never read it again and I feel good for providing to those without books!

Should I give away more of my middle-grade/YA books or slowly try and work through them without buying new books/library/Netgalley? How big are your TBR piles and what do you do to get them under control? Have you ever felt like your TBR pile is just way too big?
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Sunday, 18 May 2014

It's Monday! What are you reading? #3

This meme is hosted by BookJourney!

Books I Read Last Week:
Anne of Green Gables (Anne of Green Gables, #1)Destined (Wings, #4)Sammy Keyes and the Search for Snake Eyes (Sammy Keyes, #7)
I finished Destined, the last in the Wings series by Aprilynne Pike, but I was extremely disappointed. I loved re-reading Anne of Green of Gables, it remains one of my favourites! Sammy Keyes' novels are always so fun and I adore them.

Books I Am Currently Reading:
Anne of Avonlea (Anne of Green Gables, #2)
So excited to continue reading this series! 

Books I'm Going to Read Next:
Fly by Night (Fly By Night, #1)
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Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Review - Underworld - Meg Cabot

Underworld (Abandon Trilogy, #2)Title: Underworld
Author: Meg Cabot
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Fantasy
Publication: May 8th 2012, Pan Macmillan
Pages: 309, Paperback
Source: Library
Rating: 4/5 CUPCAKES!
Seventeen-year-old Pierce Oliviera isn't dead.
Not this time.
But she is being held against her will in the dim, twilit world between heaven and hell, where the spirits of the deceased wait before embarking upon their final journey.
Her captor, John Hayden, claims it's for her own safety. Because not all the departed are dear. Some are so unhappy with where they ended up after leaving the Underworld, they've come back as Furies, intent on vengeance . . . on the one who sent them there and on the one whom he loves.
But while Pierce might be safe from the Furies in the Underworld, far worse dangers could be lurking for her there . . . and they might have more to do with its ruler than with his enemies.
And unless Pierce is careful, this time there'll be no escape.
I am a huge fan of Meg Cabot, I've been reading her books since I was about eight years old and I always love her stories. When I read the first book in the Underworld series, I adored it and couldn't wait to get my hands on the second one. When I saw Underworld sitting at the library and took it home to read, I was slightly disappointed with it. I'm not sure if it's because I was in a slight reading slump, or because the book didn't match my mood, however, for the beginning part of the book, I was slightly disappointed.

Underworld picks up from where Abandon left off. John has whisked Pierce off to the Underworld, to protect her from the Furies that possess the average human being, and deceive them by thinking they are harmless. After Pierce was almost killed for a second time, they decided she had to remain with John in the Underworld. However, when Pierce decides to go through her bag from home that she found in her and John's bedroom, and she digs her cellphone out, she expects to see a blank screen with no signal, yet she is surprised. For on the screen it shows her cousin Alex, trapped in a coffin, trying to get out. They don't know if it's happening now, going to happen, or has happened, but somehow they need to rescue him. But is it worth risking Pierce's life for if they're not even sure if what's happening on the screen will happen?

I enjoyed Underworld, not as much as Abandon, but I still had a great reading experience. There were a few minor issues that irked me, but that didn't drastically alter my complete view on the book.

For some reason, in the first few chapters, I couldn't quite delve through to world as I did in Abandon, but I'll blame that on my reading slump. Once I got into the book, however, I thoroughly enjoyed it!
The pacing was great and there was never one dull moment. I was constantly in suspense at to what would happen next, especially towards the end. I loved the scenery. The storms and the wind, as I love it when books have that kind of atmosphere, especially when it's the same kind of weather where I live, it really sets the mood.

The plot...I have a few issues with the plot, and the writing. It felt like this book simultaneously had too little going on, and too much going on. If you look at it, this book is set over two days...there's a LOT of things that happens in just 48 hours and I don't think that it's possible to squeeze so much into such a short period of time. Even if they did, it never talked about them eating or sleeping when they were supposed to, so the author should've added in the side-effects of lack of sleep and lack of food whilst running around, transferring between the Underworld and the island where Pierce use to live.

I enjoy Meg Cabot's writing, which is light and humorous. You don't get many paranormal fantasies that have light humour and aren't so dark, so it was quite a refreshing change, however, sometimes I felt the book was taking place in a bad comedy movie, because sometimes the writing was just too light-hearted, and it didn't really fit the scene. But I still loved the way it was written, and I adore Meg's books.

The real issue I had here was with the characters. I really liked Pierce in Abandon, she seemed like such a sweet, responsible, caring girl, but in Underworld I didn't really see those qualities. She was so...stupid in Underworld. She would walk right into danger and not think about how it would affect her or others that cared about her. She was actually quite selfish in this, she let John whisk her off to the Underworld, without saying goodbye to her family and she left them beside themselves with worry. She was incredibly irresponsible and foolish.

Another thing that really irked me about Pierce, is that she was so reliant on John to save her whenever there was the slightest bit of trouble,  and he accompanied her everywhere. I think I've gotten so used to reading about characters that take care of themselves and fight their own battles, such as Tris and Katniss, that I wasn't expecting such a dependent character. I just wanted to shake her and tell her to start kicking some Fury booty, but she of course would just look at John to save her.

Now John, *sigh*. I also quite liked him in the first book, but in Underworld he seemed extremely controlling and violent. He followed Pierce everywhere and was constantly by her, it was quite annoying to be honest. Then there was that whole,  "No, I can't tell you what happened, or else you'll hate me" no she won't because she's just as obsessed with you as you are obsessed with her. That being said, I still did enjoy hearing about his story and about what a rough life he has had.

I enjoyed meeting Frank, Mr Graves, Mr Liu and Henry, they all had their own characteristics and I wish they surfaced more in the story as they brought excitement to it. I also loved seeing Kayla and Alex in this book, I love Kayla's vibrant personality, but I did think it was bad of her to keep saying "I wouldn't mind having him kidnap me, any time" when referring to Frank or  John.  I got a better view of Alex in this book and grew a liking to him, he was the only one that viewed Pierce's disappearing act as selfish, whereas most other people barely acknowledged it. The ending really took me by surprise, but it would've been quite interesting if *the author had killed Alex off, although I'm glad she didn't!*. I just felt like the ending was a bit too cookie-cutter perfect, but it was a good round-up.

Overall, I enjoyed Underworld, unfortunately not as much as I enjoyed the first book in the series. However, I will definitely be reading the third book, as I would like to know what happens in the end. I was expecting an outstanding novel but got met with a good, bordering on average novel. The characters seemed to have lost the qualities that made me like them in Abandon, the plot seemed to have too much going on, and the writing was also not outstanding.  I still love reading Meg Cabot's books, but I just thought that this would have more to it.

I give it: 3/5 CUPCAKES!

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Monday, 12 May 2014

Discussion: Why I Like Taking My Time to Read

I like taking my time to read and generally try not to finish a book in one sitting. I love lingering on sentences that mean something to me. I love re-reading the sentences to set a firm picture in my head. I love dwelling in the world that I'm currently inhabiting. I love absorbing the words and appreciating  story. When I read fast I just feel as if I'm not getting everything out of the story. I like reading a book over a couple of days and I rarely read a book in under a day. I try to read slower if I find I'm going through a book too fast especially if I'm really enjoying it, as I know if I read too fast I won't be able to spend as much time in the world or with the characters.

I spoke with my dad about this and he feels the same way. When I read a book in a day, sometimes I regret it because it feels like I haven't taken enough time to appreciate the way the author has crafted the sentences and the way the story has so beautifully been told. My mom, on the other hand, will start a book at 11 at night and read through till 1 in the morning until she has finished the book.

I understand that there are some books that are so fast-paced that you simply can't put them down. I've often had that as well. But sometimes I read so fast that I actually miss out on parts of the story because when I go back and read parts again, I am shocked by how many things I've actually missed. 

Do you prefer reading slower or faster? If you're going through a book too fast do you will yourself to read it slower?
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Saturday, 10 May 2014

Stacking the Shelves #61!

Stacking the Shelves

I went to the library (I shouldn't have) and I requested some books on Netgalley (I really shouldn't have) even though I am drowning in books. I need to learn self-control. Anyway, here are some of the books I got this week! :)

Anna sums up me perfectly trying to exercise self-control around books!

Library Books:
Anne of Green Gables - L.M. Montgomery
Beautiful Creatures - Margaret Stohl & Kami Garcia
Awaken - Meg Cabot
A Medal for Leroy - Michael Morpurgo
Fly by Night - Frances Hardinge

Fangirl - Rainbow Rowell

Bunheads - Sophie Flack
Unearthly - Cynthia Hand
Falling Kingdoms - Morgan Rhodes
Pastworld - Ian Beck

Disruption (the Cambridge files, Book 1)The Stepsister's Tale

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Monday, 5 May 2014

Top Ten Tuesday #13 - Top Ten Book Covers I'd Frame As Pieces of Art

Top Ten Book Covers I'd Frame As Pieces of Art:
So excited for this week's TTT! There are so many lovely book covers out there and I'm excited to share my favourites with you! :)

*click on book cover to be taken to it's Goodreads page*

For Darkness Shows the Stars (For Darkness Shows the Stars, #1)Revived
The Archived (The Archived, #1)A Million Suns (Across the Universe, #2)
Paper TownsLove in the Time of Global Warming (Love in the Time of Global Warming, #1)
Splintered (Splintered, #1)These Broken Stars (Starbound, #1)
Flights and Chimes and Mysterious TimesThe Probability of Miracles
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